The term cold-water coral sensu lato groups taxa with a more or less pronounced frame-building ability (e.g. Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata) with forest-forming organisms both on hard (e.g. Leiopathes glaberrima, Parantipathes larix, Callogorgia verticillata and Viminella flagellum) and soft bottoms (e.g. Isidella elongata, Funiculina quadrangularis and Kophobelemnon stelliferum). Cold-water coral species and their occurrence in the Mediterranean Sea are here reviewed and discussed from a biogeographic point of view, considering geographical areas of occurrence and bathymetric distribution. The present-day occurrence of living cold-water corals is then compared to the main deep currents of the Mediterranean Sea. Due to the proper interaction between topography and a combination of cold, oxygenated and trophic-carrying water masses (i.e. Levantine Intermediate Water, deep waters and cascading effects), cold-water coral communities develop in a mosaic-like situation along the main paths that such water masses follow within the basin. Finally, knowledge gaps and future perspectives in the study of cold-water coral occurrence, distribution and biogeography are highlighted. The currently still scarce knowledge on the Mediterranean deep-sea and on the basin-scale distribution of the most important cold-water corals species represents crucial biogeographical information. This gives fundamental indications on the location of the Mediterranean vulnerable deep marine ecosystems for future management strategies.
|Titolo:||Occurrence and biogeography of Mediterranean Cold-Water Corals|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||02.01 - Contributo in volume (Capitolo o saggio)|